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Opinion
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – August 16th, 2018

Congressional Gold Medal awarded to William “Bill” Becker Dear Editor, Regarding the article on WWII vet Bill Becker, Page 1 of the Aug. 9 issue of The Valley Chronicle, “Hemet resident receives nation’s highest award,” I may not be the first to point out the captions under the photographs state, “U. S. Representative Raul Ruiz presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to William “Bill” Becker…” Mr. Becker received the Congressional Gold Medal, NOT the Medal of Honor. Further, the Medal of Honor is not referred to as the “Congressional” Medal of Honor, rather simply the “Medal of Honor”. Congress has nothing to do with it except authorizing it when it was (more…)
Opinion

Hibakusha and hope in the Nuclear Age

■ Robert F. Dodge, MD / Contributed This week marks 73 years since the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, ultimately resulting in the deaths of more than 200,000 people. With the dawn of the nuclear age, the term “hibakusha” formally entered our lexicon. Atomic bomb survivors are referred to in Japanese as hibakusha, which translates literally as “bomb-affected-people.” The bombings and aftermath changed the world forever and threaten the very future of mankind to this day. According to the Atomic Bomb Survivors Relief Law, there are three hibakusha categories. These include people exposed directly to the bomb and its immediate aftermath, those people exposed (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – August 9th, 2018

Dear Editor, I have a concern for all the scooters and motorized chairs that are seen around town here in Hemet. Most of these are not street legal. To be street legal — meaning legal to drive/ride them on a street — and to the best of my knowledge, they should be capable of doing 35 miles per hour and registered with DMV with license plates. But my BIGGEST concern is this: wouldn’t it be wise that the users wear a helmet? Think about it. Most bicyclists and motorcycle riders (required by law) wear helmets. Check with your local police department or the California Highway Patrol for the legality of use (more…)
Opinion

California’s leaky bucket theory of public improvement

How well are California taxpayer dollars being utilized for public service? ■ By Jon Coupal / Contributed Unfortunately, Californians have come to expect significant levels of waste and incompetence when it comes to government programs. Just last week, we learned that the “new” $290 million computer system for the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration — in the works for over a decade — was having significant problems with tax filers trying to submit their quarterly returns. Despite California being home to Silicon Valley and the best high-tech minds on the planet, the State of California has a sorry history of failure when implementing big computer projects. Although Will Rogers (more…)
Opinion

Most people believe the rich pay too few taxes

There is evidence that taxing the rich is good for the economy ■ By Lawrence Wittner / Contributed Whatever happened to the notion that rich people should pay their fair share of the cost for their country’s public programs? Progressive income taxes designed to fund government services and facilities go back centuries, and are based on the idea that taxes should be levied most heavily on people with the ability to pay them. In the United States, the federal government introduced its first income tax in 1861, to cover the costs of the Civil War. Although new federal income tax legislation in the 1890s was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – August 2, 2018

Dear Editor, Recently there have been some items on the news about four senior citizens in Hemet dying from the high temperatures, and at the same time Edison is turning off the electricity in many homes during the peak hot periods. My neighbors are an example. Can the family members sue Edison as a contributing factor to their elder family members’ deaths due to the extreme heat in their homes? Bernice Estes Hemet Editor’s Note: That’s a good question. We will contact Edison and see if we can find out what’s going on. Dear Editor, I have lived in Hemet since 1974. So I have seen the good and the bad. (more…)
Opinion

The law’s country club

Are our rules the result of intellectual inbreeding? ■ By Bob Franken / Contributed Is it possible that only Ivy League law schools produce attorneys who have what it takes to climb to the top of this country’s jurisprudence heap? This heap’s pinnacle, of course, is the U.S. Supreme Court. Apparently, we have evolved to a nation where the SCOTUS ivory tower is exclusively the Ivy tower. Even President Donald Trump, the rabble rouser in chief, is said to have factored in Brett Kavanaugh’s Yale pedigree when he chose him for another new haven. Assuming the Senate complies, he will cluster with the Supremes: five Harvard, three other Yalies and one (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – July 26th, 2018

Dear Editor, I read the article in the Valley Chronicle reporting the response from Hemet PD regarding the fireworks. I wrote the original letter to the editor that highlighted this issue. Regarding calling 911 from a cell phone – I did not call 911. I dialed the non-emergency police phone number 765-2400. The call was answered quickly, then the person on the line put me on hold. I was on hold for OVER 10 minutes before I hung up. There was this hold beeping sound periodically throughout the entire time I was on hold. I must have called around 10 p.m. The sentence: “One of the other concerns raised from the (more…)
Opinion

Has it come to this? The irony of a student-debt quiz show

■ Mark Sarll Jr. / Contributed If unemployment, broken families, and crime aren’t problematic enough, student debt is. It’s a trillion-dollar problem nationwide. Young people often take out loans they can’t afford to pay back with interest in the hope that they will obtain the skills for a successful career. While the ambition is noble, the guaranteed outcome of a great job can be shockingly uncertain. The 2008 global recession worsened such prospects. The issue has got to the point that a game show called “Paid Off” was created to shine a light on the “debt cycle” while retaining a comic flair. It’s “Jeopardy!,” but relevant to millennials. While the efforts (more…)
Opinion

Human Rights Trumped

■ By Mel Gurtov / Contributed Discussion in the Trump administration of sensitive human-rights cases often gets relegated to the annual state department report on conditions around the world, a report required by Congress. Even here the Trump administration has downplayed human rights. When the 2016 report was prepared, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rejected the usual practice of presenting it to the press, evidently to discount its importance. The 2017 report, which came out this April, “sugarcoated” several controversial issues, as one human rights NGO leader put it. These deceptions include Israel’s conduct in the Occupied Territories (no longer labeled as such), high civilian casualties from Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate (more…)